Run up to the Olympics

Olympic rings on Tower bridge July 2012

We’re one day away from the official start of the London 2012 games, and London (if not the UK) is being engulfed in Olympic atmosphere. At the SLA conference in Chicago last week lots of people asked me about my reaction to London staging the Olympics. In true British style I replied whingeing about the traffic chaos I’d have to endure! There’s been a lot in the UK media this week telling us all to rejoice in the Olympics being here, but for those of us in London we’re still all grumbling about our journeys to work.

Maybe, however, with the opening ceremony tomorrow we’re beginning to revel in the joys of being host city! I’ve started a daily count of sightings of volunteer ambassadors (10 yesterday) and security folk (1 yesterday and 1 this morning) I see around London.  While today the torch relay is making it’s penultimate journey around boroughs in London, before heading for the Thames tomorrow. Its route today is close to my office so I took the opportunity to watch and get into the Olympic spirit. I got to work early at 0745 to go and watch the torch go down Rosebery Avenue. Olympic torch coming down Roseberry AvenueWe were lucky to be on a road where spectators were only one person deep, the police were helpful and friendly and it was amusing to watch people coming out of their offices with mugs of coffee to watch. Bemused cyclists, busy commuting to work  and unaware of the torch behind them, were greeted with cheers as though they were competing in the Tour de France.

The actual torch bearer was preceded by several sponsors’ buses handing out streamers and flags, and several police outriders, all of whom waved, smiled and said hello.  The Metropolitan Police must be getting a lot of valuable PR out of the torch relay.

Olympic torch passing by It was all over in a flash after the torch bearer ran past, and life returned to normal for all of us.   It was a great way to start the day and here’s hoping the next 2 weeks or so are equally as fun. Just don’t ask me about my commute!

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6 Responses to “Run up to the Olympics”


  1. 1 Anneli S (@LibrarianNelly) July 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I was guilty of the same whingeing about the commute when people asked about the Olympics. I should be more enthusiastic but when I see all the barriers at London Bridge to direct pedestrian traffic, I just can’t help inwardly groaning! But I hope once the Games begin, the atmosphere around London will make me more enthused. Especially as I see the mini-Austria has been set up near work and they are selling alcohol!

    • 2 katefromuk July 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one whingeing about commuting problems. I’m a bit tired of hearing Boris’s message about pre-planning your trip have heard it twice on bus today! But once you see the torch and get into the spirit it all seems worth it.

  2. 3 Lyndsay Rees-Jones July 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    It does slowly creep up on you… the positive rather than the negative aspects to the nation (not just London!) hosting the Olympics. Fingers crossed that the Olympics and Paralympics and huge successes and everyone heads into Autumn feeling super positive about the whole experience,

  3. 5 Suzanne (@suzyredrec) July 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I know what you mean about the impact on travel but I can help smiling whenever I see anyone wearing a London 2012 ID pass or uniform. As I travel through Stratford every day, I’ve been seeing more and more Olympic people and now to see athletes and team members from other countries… well, I’m properly excited. We saw the flame this morning too – bit.ly/PsVeG1.

    I think London feels more friendly than ever this year. Let the games begin!

    • 6 katefromuk July 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Suzanne – thanks for your comment and like you I’m getting more and more excited as each day goes by. I’ve been counting the number of ambassadors and competitors I see each day and was chuffed to see 3 Korean competitors by Leicester Square this morning. Will be interesting to read your blog post on the torch experience. And as you say let the games begin!


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